By Bella Pratt, Blue Sky Graduate Assistant, MBA Candidate
“I knew I wanted to work here when I saw you sponsor our Diversity and Inclusion Summit.”
The words came tumbling out of my mouth as I got asked America’s favorite interview question: “Why do you want to work for this company?” As trite as it may have sounded, it was 100% true. As I went on my internship hunt in the Spring of 2020, my top choices stemmed from companies that had been heavily involved with the DEI Summit.
Looking back on last year’s summit experience, that wasn’t the only reason I was glad I attended as a student–and why I’m excited to support again this year:
- I had the ability to network with many business people and educators, and I met numerous useful connections. I promptly followed up with them on LinkedIn… and yes, one connection even helped me score my current internship.
- I was able to learn about what companies in the Treasure Valley are doing–and what they care about. Attending the conference gave me an inside look into what it might look like to work with one of these companies, and it also helped me further understand their vision and mission.
- I learned new skill sets to help me currently as a student, and also skills that I could take with me in the workplace. As a participant in the breakout sessions and the keynote, I picked up a variety of DEI-related information that I could use to both grow my knowledge base as well as to enact the takeaways I learned.
- Finally, I was given the opportunity to truly listen. This gave me a better understanding of what diverse members of our community experience daily.
In short, the DEI summit is for you students, too! This year’s theme, Build Empathy. Take Action. Ignite Change!, focuses on tools and learning opportunities for all. To begin with, we will Build Empathy with Story Story Night. We’ll learn the skills of empathy from an expert and hear stories from community members sharing their experiences and insights through the power of storytelling. From there, we’ll jump into the next part of the day–Take Action, with numerous breakout session options from our expert facilitators. Finally, we’ll move into our favorite part–Ignite Change! Local change leaders will share their stories and counsel through an enlightening panel discussion, answering tough questions on how to best enact change.
I am excited to learn, grow, and network alongside you on this packed day, coming up in just a few weeks. If you’re interested in signing up, registration will be open until Tuesday, October 6th. The cost is only $10 for students and BSU faculty and staff! Sign up here!